Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We Need Battle Buddies!!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we men are each in a life and death battle. Eternal destinies are at stake. This isn’t a game. I know that I could never have been able to get through this past year in my life without my battle buddies. I have had challenges I had never encountered before. Someone has said that, “through life we are always plagued by inexperience.” We need our older brothers, our same age brothers and our younger brothers to fight alongside of us. If it wasn’t for a band of brothers around me, I have no doubt I would have become another casualty. My fall would have impacted my wife, children and grandchildren and others.

I have been growing in my passion to see men connect with other men in a small group. I know many men are not making this a priority. They may have been “burned” by small groups in the past. They see the men’s group as a “glorified Sunday School class” for men or just “Seminary Light.” This really misses the point. I believe that the enemy will do ALL he can to keep us as men isolated from living in a genuine Word-saturated, life-sharing, praying group of men seeking to follow Jesus and love one another in this broken world.

It is really simple. We have made this way too complicated. Acts 2:42 lays it out for us, “And they continued in the Apostles teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer.” That’s it. When men do this in a balanced format, that is, there is time for each element and then something transformational occurs. I have experienced this in the groups that I am involved with. And it really has been only a couple of years ago that I became passionate about this. I give credit to my dear friend Marvin Charles for showing me the light in this.

Previously, I had led groups that had a beginning and an end. There was a purpose for meeting, like being a better father, or studying a certain topic, and then we would disband. The problem with this was when the topic was completed we would disconnect. Groups were topic centered not relationship centered, where a group of men simply learn in community to follow Jesus and love as He loves.

The more I read the Bible the more I see what is on His heart--His Son and US, His people! It is not a program we may be going through, a church we may belong to, or the latest teaching running through evangelical circles but it is US who are being shaped and formed to become His Bride for eternity. If this is the case, then it makes sense to build ties with one another that are eternal ties. Because as we walk this earthly journey there will be great challenges with our faith…with our marriages...with our families...with our jobs…with our health. In these challenges we need to be surrounded by true battle-tested “battle buddies” whom we can trust, men who will have our back when the battle gets intense. I am so thankful for my battle buddies.

Do you have a group of men you meet with regularly? If you would like to start a grou email me. I would love to encourage you to get started. If you would like to start as a “dad’s group” let me send you a free copy, postage paid, of my book and small group guide, “Like Father, Like Son.” Send me an email and I will send the book to you along with some helpful small group ideas. This truly is free. It will be paid for by our Foundation. You may reach me at jnbohnett@aol.com.

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